ACE(R) Hardware Announces Plan To Sell Craftsman(R) Tools

For the first time Craftsman will sell directly to new retail channel to improve customer accessibility and convenience

July 14, 2010 // Franchising.com // Oak Brook, Ill./Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Craftsman, America's most trusted tool brand, will now be sold through Ace Hardware stores. In May, approximately 100 Ace stores will begin selling Craftsman products.

Under the first phase of the agreement, qualifying Ace stores will be able to sell the Craftsman brand including hand tools, portable power tools, compressors, wet/dry vacs and tool storage. As the number one tool brand in America, Craftsman continued to increase its popularity in 2009 among Americans who want to take on DIY projects with tools they can trust to get the job done.

In June, Ace will promote a number of Craftsman products, giving all 4,500 Ace stores the opportunity to offer the Craftsman brand to customers.

"This alliance will reinforce Ace stores as a premium destination for customers shopping for tools and other quality core hardware products," said Ray Griffith, Ace president and chief executive officer. "Bringing the nationally-trusted Craftsman brand to the aisles of the most helpful hardware stores in America will benefit both our retailers and customers."

"This is an exciting, strategic move that expands access to Craftsman for existing and new customers," said Bruce Johnson, interim chief executive officer and president for Sears Holdings. "Offering an assortment of Craftsman products more broadly through Ace locations will strengthen the Craftsman brand, which already has an incredible reputation for innovation, quality and trust".

For more than 80 years, Craftsman has developed innovative products. Craftsman was ranked as the most trusted tool brand in America in the 2008 Harris Interactive Equitrend Brand Study.

About Ace Hardware

For more than 85 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the helpful hardware store by both customers and communities. In 2009, Ace ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Home Improvement Stores for the Third Consecutive Year," according to J.D. Power and Associates. With approximately 4,500 locally owned and operated hardware, home center and building materials stores, Ace is the largest hardware cooperative in the industry. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace currently operates 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and one in Shanghai, China, and its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states and more than 60 countries.

About Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. Sears, Roebuck offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,300 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the United States and Canada, which includes approximately 929 full-line and approximately 1,200 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading proprietary brands including Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 12 million service calls made annually.

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